Coffee BBQ Rub | Barbecue Tricks

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Coffee BBQ Rub

Starbucks BBQ? … I’m not sure we will see any grande sized Starbucks BBQ sauce cups pop up in stores anytime soon but there ARE a few tips and tricks you can use with coffee to really liven up and give some cowboy swag and extra depth to your sauces and rubs. Watch the video HERE

coffeetricks.Still003Many times coffee is used in sweet or dessert type recipes and it’s not typically thought of as a savory ingredient ( until now). I think of coffee recipes as a “sitting around the campfire cowboy” type food. At least that’s what comes to mind for me.

Coffee brings a little bit bitter, caramel, some earthy, chocolatey flavors to BBQ sauces and BBQ rubs.   Oh, and if you’re making a biscuit gravy you got to have some coffee in there.

Here are a few Tricks to using coffee in BBQ:

  • First, avoid using grounds they’ll leave your sauce mealy or gritty – and never use “used” grounds.
  • A better choice: try the new instant coffees like Starbucks’s Via brand… The fine texture is made todissolve into water and we find it’s dynamite in a BBQ rub. The micro grind allows the flavor to reallymelt into your meat. The stick portion size makes it a nice measuring amount for rubs…You might think it would be too overpowering for a rub but the flavor really mellows with roasting.

coffeetricks.Still001For a Starbucks BBQ rub Mix together 1/4 tsp cayenne, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp ground

coriander, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp cumin, 2 tsp salt, 1 TBSP smoked paprika, 3 to 4 TBSP brown

sugar, & 2 packets of Starbucks VIA. Store in airtight container for months…


  • If you’re working on a coffee sauce try to work with a double concentrated brew…. Use a French press like we used here or use half the amount of water in your drip machine… Use a very fine ground coffee if you can…or espresso
  • Finally try chicory as a secret ingredient –Chicory is a plant whose roots can be ground and baked to create a cheap coffee substitute; a practice that is popular in New Orleans. This blend of coffee and chicory from Café Du Monde has a smokier, woodier taste than most coffee.
  • Oh, one more coffee trick – an inexpensive coffee grinder makes a great SPICE grinder for BBQ. Just give it a good cleaning before your next coffee grind.

Coffee… It’s not just for breakfast anymore!  Got a great use for coffee in BBQ share in the comments!

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About Bill West

Bill West a BBQ enthusiast, Author, and Country Music aficionado in Charleston, SC. Get his BBQ Blueprint Book on Amazon: Follow him:

One Response to “Coffee BBQ Rub”

  1. Zoe says:

    I’ve used coffee in several sweet recipes, can’t wait to try it for something savory!


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